A picture of a man holding a rifle and kneeling over the body of a seemingly lifeless young boy has raised much concern among authorities, inciting an investigation on how exactly the photograph came to be.
The fact that the man in the photograph was Caucasian and the child was black has caused many to condemn the photograph as racist. But as the authorities said, racism is not the biggest issue here. The photograph depicts the murder of a child. If it is authentic, then the police have a serious case in their hands.
Current data on the matter implies that the photo was fake – not in the sense that it was digitally edited, but that it was staged. The man in the picture was actually taken in for questioning back in 2007, and he told the police that he had paid the child in the picture to pose as such. The photo merely resurfaced in 2011 when a Facebook user under the name “Eugene Terrorblanche” posted it on his profile.
If this really is the case, then it’s quite a relief to know that the child was not physically harmed. Still, the connotations of such a picture are quite horrifying. Racism is quite a big issue, and the man in the photograph, the unseen photographer, as well as the one who posted it on Facebook, could be charged under the Children’s Act, The Films and Publications Act, and also the Criminal Procedure Act. They’re not quite ‘off the hook’ yet just because the child was unharmed.
Even this Eugene Terrorblanche’s Facebook friends were affected by the issue. The protesters were pressing for prosecution of anyone who failed to report the photograph, and the people on Terrorblanche’s contact list might have made themselves targets. As such, his friends were quick to ‘unfriend’ him.